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6 - Structuration and Egocentric Networks

from Part II - Seeing Structure

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 September 2023

Craig M. Rawlings
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
Jeffrey A. Smith
Affiliation:
Nova Scotia Health Authority
James Moody
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
Daniel A. McFarland
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
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Summary

Social structure is enacted by individuals. At the same time, social structure channels individuals into opportunities for action and provides schemas for helping them make sense of these actions. Structure is therefore both the medium through which individuals realize fundamental human drives as well as the collective outcome of the actions that others take and have taken in the past. This ongoing interplay of agency and structure is called structuration. While predictive models outlined in Part III test specific structuration mechanisms, here we cover more inductive approaches and present various micro-level ideas about what drives people to form and break (certain types of) ties. We then introduce the reader to ego-centric network analysis as an important technique that illuminates many of these structuration processes with individual-level data.

Type
Chapter
Information
Network Analysis
Integrating Social Network Theory, Method, and Application with R
, pp. 117 - 142
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

Suggested Further Reading

Bidart, Clair, Degenne, Alain, and Grossetti, Michel. 2020. Living in Networks: The Dynamics of Social Relations. New York: Cambridge University Press. (A recent English translation of a French classic that provides insight into the origins of personal networks.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Burt, Ronald. 2010. Neighbor Networks: Competitive Advantage Local and Personal. New York: Oxford University Press. (An engaging follow-up to the earlier line of work; makes the case that network advantage follows personal advantage.)Google Scholar
Fischer, Claude S. 1982. To Dwell among Friends: Personal Networks in Town and City. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (An exemplar of what one can learn using ego-network methods; arguably the best work available on general patterns in personal networks across the rural–urban gradient.)Google Scholar
Kilduff, Martin, and Tsai, Wenpin. 2003. Social Networks and Organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (An excellent treatment of networks, including personal networks, within an organizational context.)Google Scholar
Lin, Nan. 2002. Social Capital: A Theory of Social Structure and Action. New York: Cambridge University Press. (A capstone theoretical treatment of structural approaches to social capital.)Google Scholar
Perry, Brea L., Pescosolido, Bernice A., and Borgatti, Stephen P.. 2018. Egocentric Network Analysis: Foundations, Methods, and Models. New York: Cambridge University Press. (A comprehensive reference for how and why to do ego-network analysis, with extensive integration of prior work.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wellman, Barry, Wong, Renita Yuk-lin, Tindall, David, and Nazer, Nancy. 1997. “A Decade of Network Change: Turnover, Persistence and Stability in Personal Communities.” Social Networks 19(1): 2750. (A rare example of dynamic ego-network data taken over thirty-three years.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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